Madeira wine is far from being the only reason to visit this gorgeous island, which also boasts a truly singular culture, gastronomy and geography, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site Laurel forests. Take in the diversity of the island first-hand with car hire in Madeira from Auto Europe!
Driving on Madeira has become a much more relaxed affair as of late. New tunnels have been built through the mountainous areas, allowing drivers to avoid winding mountain-side roads and reducing travel times. The main motorways are also in good condition. Madeiran drivers are also considerate towards the many tourists visiting the island.
A road trip with your car hire in Madeira is the ideal way to experience the island. Though there are myriad routes you can take, depending on how much time you have and how adventurous you wish to make your trip, the coastal road ER101 is a tourist favourite. This was the first proper road on the island, and will take you around the whole island, allowing you to marvel at the beautiful coastline. For a faster route, you can use the motorway, which leads from Santana to Madeira Airport, Funchal and Ribeira Brava. More driving tips can be found here.
It is much easier to find parking outside of the capital Funchal, where on-street parking spaces are rare and paid. Car parks are a better option in Funchal. Almirante Reis car park, for example, is situated near the cable car terminal and convenient for visitors.
The Madeira archipelago is of volcanic origin, and consists of multiple islands. The main island, also called Madeira, is the largest one, covering 93% of the area of the archipelago. Madeira is not a particularly large island, however, as it is 35 miles long and only 14 miles wide. A mountain ridge is located in the middle of the island, with the highest point reaching over 6,000 feet.
Madeira is located 620 miles from the European continent in the Atlantic Ocean. The climate on Madeira is classified as Mediterranean, with mild weather year-round. The agreeable weather is much thanks to the effect of the Gulf Stream and the Canary Current, which keep temperatures around 20°C.
Madeira Airport has won many engineering awards for its unique runway design, which expanded the previously perilous length of the runway. A single terminal building serves both international and domestic Portuguese flights.
Madeira Airport (FNC)
Address: 9100-105 Santa Cruz, Madeira, Portugal.
Website: Madeira Airport
Telephone: +351 291 520 700
Public transportation options on Madeira are quite limited. Buses operate between some of the towns as well as within Funchal, but schedules can be confusing and irregular. Taxis are also available, but using a rental car will save you a considerable amount of money and provide added comfort!